Students Research: Young female students in universities in particular have experienced an increase in workload and loneliness during the Korona period

Universities and polytechnics are aiming to move to contact teaching in the autumn, which would improve the situation of students.

Over half of the university students report an increased feeling of loneliness during the corona epidemic, according to preliminary results from a study conducted by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and Kela. The results highlight women aged 18-22 studying at university, of whom as many as three in four have experienced loneliness more than before.

In addition, almost half of the students experience the increased workload required for their studies during the corona epidemic. In particular, women aged 18–22 studying at universities and women aged 18–26 studying at a polytechnic report an increase in the study load.

About 70 percent of college students experience difficulties in their studies during the corona epidemic. On the other hand, one in five says that studying is easier.

Epidemic has also affected student livelihoods. Nearly 40 percent of students feel that the corona epidemic has weakened their financial situation at least somewhat.

The experience was highlighted for polytechnic students. About half of the students did not notice any changes in their financial situation.

Read more: The Corona year deprived many students of their earnings, and the work situation next summer is uncertain: “It is quite probable that at the beginning of the summer I will be at Kela’s door”

THL Development Manager Suvi Parikan according to the side effects of the corona epidemic are more pronounced in young students.

First-year students have not been able to integrate into the student community as in previous years.

“It is really important that if student events can be organized in the autumn, second-year students will also be actively involved.”

According to Parika, it is essential to observe whether the situation of the students as a whole improves as the corona situation improves.

More than 6,200 undergraduate students aged 18–34 responded to the health and well-being survey of university students. The final results of the study will be published later this year.

In universities and problems experienced by students during the corona epidemic have been noted in polytechnics. It is hoped that universities will be able to move from distance learning to campuses in the autumn.

Executive Director of Unif, the Rector’s Council of Finnish Universities Tanja Risikko says universities are aiming to increase the amount of contact teaching in the coming academic year.

“The aim is to increase contact teaching and thus support the mutual community of student groups.”

In addition, universities continue to invest in enhanced personal guidance for students during distance learning.

In polytechnics, the intentions are parallel. Arene, Executive Director of the Rector’s Council of Polytechnics Samuli Maxenius In addition to the transition to contact teaching, the aim is to organize community events for students in the autumn.

“Personal contact with students and monitoring of the need for support will continue,” Maxenius adds.

According to Risikko and Maxenius, the situation will also be facilitated by the additional funding granted by the Ministry of Education and Culture in January for the well-being and guidance of university students, which will enable new projects to improve student well-being.

Read more: University students’ resilience and mental health deteriorated during the pandemic, according to the survey: “There are too many people who are doing really badly”

Read more: A turn for the worse happened towards the end of the year: Student resources are exhausted and now a “critical autumn” is ahead



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